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"Are you even human?"
"Why? Haven't you spilt enough of my blood last time? Or is it because I killed a little more than others?"

Fret was determined to take down this wretched excuse of a human. Even without any order, he was ready to pay the cost.

However, as soon as his claymore clashed against the talwar, the colour of Fret's face changed. The force he had received from the collision was more than he had expected.

'Could he be hiding his strength last time? No, no, that is not possible.' He was confused. Still, that didn't stop him from attacking.

‘It might be because of the bond with the earth element.’ Kinoya was relieved. Last time, just one use of Varytita had left him bloody-handed, yet things are different now.

"Why are you fighting? Those prisoners had already reached the city." On the open field, the speed of Fret was not something he could match up with. Only by utilizing the gravity domain, he was able to keep up.

"If I couldn't kill you right now then it will be an insult to those who had been tortured by you."
"Wow! You are a virtuous man."
"And you are not."
"But Fret, you should have understood that you can't beat me."


"Who told you that?" With each attack, Fret increased the intensities more and more.
Kinoya was forced to circulate mana through his numb hands, "Well, you can beat me but you can't kill me unless you want to bear the consequence."

More he spoke the more irritated Fret had become. Yet despite his discontent, he came to a stop. Wind around him stopped too.

‘What the hell is he doing?’ Kinoya didn’t want to charge at him. At least not knowing what he was up to. By the time Kinoya understood that Fret was gathering a huge amount of mana, the wind had picked up again and it was too late.

‘His mana is blue, so it must be water, then why?’ A shiver went down his spine, ‘Could he be gathering water from the air?’

It was too late. Even at the distance, stray water mana was shaving off his black smoke cloak. ‘It would be better if I run away now.’

Alas! Before Kinoya could turn around, Fret disappeared from his view.

[Skill Check: The Host has observed [Water-Wind Tornado]]
[Elemental mismatch…]
[Problem occurred while observing…]
[Do you want to try to analyse?]

‘Does it look like I have time for that?’ Kinoya was having a hard time moving from attacks of the tornado. It had a speed of 150km/h, on top of that gravity did not affect the wind. Each missed attack was shaving off a big chunk of the ground.

[Analyse complete…]
[[Water-Wind Tornado] Observation level: 0.01%]
[Unable to initiate the quest to learn it.]

He couldn’t care less. With the assist from his first innate spell [Gravity], all he could do was to invade.

‘This couldn’t be all!’ No matter how strong it is, it couldn’t kill Kinoya, ‘It’s more like a control spell rather than an offensive spell, then…’

By the time Kinoya had understood the problem, it was too late. Fret was breathing on his back. Kinoya directed all his black smoke and increased the gravity ten times of the original.

Once the enemy came close to Kinoya it had already entered his [Gravity] domain. And it was the same for Captain Fret. He was subjected to ten times the normal gravity in the domain, but...

Even if he was caught off for a moment, his experience wasn’t for show. In a blink, he disappeared from his back and a gashing wound cut through the thin layer of black smoke opened on Kinoya’s chest.

Like last time, no blood came out of it, neither did any black smoke.

[Status Check: Foreign mana invading host's body]
[Do you want to dispel it?]

‘Yes, yes, YES.’ Kinoya screamed as he jumped back as much as possible.

[Status Check: Unable to dispel invading mana.]

‘No. I don’t want to override my consciousness. I was too careless. Can’t there be any other solution?’

[Do you want to slow down the corrosion?]

As soon as he confirmed a huge chunk of mana was absorbed inside his body. Weakness washed over his body but Fret wasn’t in any good situation either.

The tornado vanished as blood sipped out of his lips. Even if he had coated himself in mana strong gravity had injured his internal organ.

“That is the best you can do? I thought a magic knight would be worth more.”

Even if he had said that his body was saying otherwise. The essence circle enabled him to have better control over the gravity around him. However, that didn't mean that he had an endless amount of mana.

After studying his body over the last few days Kinoya understood his problem. Two problems to be precise.

The first problem is his mana. His body has three types of mana. 80% of it is black smoke. Kinoya was not sure of its element. In the beginning, he had thought it was a dark element but the more he used it the more confused he got. It had the property of shadow too.

Contradictory to those two elements, black smoke had the property of body enhancement and body modification. It was also by using this mana he could level up.

The problem is the earth element mana is only 16% of his whole mana. That is where the second problem became a big issue.

Creating a spell essence in the mage space means the mage will be able to cast the spell with one-tenth mana of actual mana cost.

But Kinoya’s first spell essence was a high-grade spell and the mana cost was enormous. Even with the reduced cost, he could sustain it long with his earth elemental mana.

And the brown mana inside of him was nearing its limit. Without his gravity domain, he couldn't use Varytita. On top of that, he was continuously spending an amount of black smoke to suppress foreign mana.

The injuries didn’t make them worry much and they continued to clash. However with each strike, the force was becoming weaker, blood had started to sip out of Kinoya’s palm.

The black smoke quenched his mana hole, as the last bits of brown mana extinguished from his body. The talwar, Varytita, became heavy on his hand, and he couldn’t do anything about it.

"You are bluffing." The sluggishness in Kinoya's movement didn't miss his eyes, blue hue on his claymore deepened, however before he could strike…

"You are welcome to try." Kinoya's face was decorated with a smile, " But, one couldn't win a war alone."

The crack on the wall of the city widened and the closed gate of the city opened again.

'What the hell are they thinking?' Yet Fret had no way to know, he looked back in shock as the soldiers continued to pour out of the gate. 'Could there be a spy in the army?'

"Do you think there are spies in your army?" His overgrown canines were making his smile more frightening, "I can assure you there aren't one, but you are welcome to search your army."

Before he could assemble his thought, Kinoya used his leftover strength to give another blow. It splattered blood everywhere, still, Kinoya was successful. Fret was forced to take a few steps back and the deflected talwar created a dust cloud.

Fret was absent-minded and before he could understand what was happening, Kinoya was already halfway back towards the camp.

‘Should I go behind him? But… Those idiots.’ Fret cursed under his breath. His situation wasn’t very good, yet he enveloped himself in wind mana as charged towards the city.

Fret moved straight to the quarters of General Manu. The place was flooded with the generals. Their demand was same, their voice was one,
"We have 150,000 soldiers. Even if we don't use the garrisons we can beat their 110,000 soldiers without much effort."

Fret was going to answer but it was Manu, who did. The flame of revenge was hottest inside his heart, still "Listen, those are the heroes, who died for our land. I wanted to kill those bastards too, burn them to the ashes. However, it is not the right time. We have to wait and strike at the right moment."

‘Is this the only way?’ Even he wanted to kill those bastards, but he was the general and he had orders to follow. Manu forced himself to calm down.

"Think about it. The cities that fell till now, didn't have many civilians. In the city of Na, we have 100,000 citizens to protect. Will you leave them here to get slaughtered?" Some of them understood Fret's meaning, yet most of them didn't.

"We are not leaving them, we are trying to remove the cause of despair, once and for all."

"That won't do. If we leave the city, they might attack the city rather than attacking us and breach the city. Think about what will happen to the civilians if they could do that to the soldiers."

"Then let half of us go. We will teach them the lesson, that they will never forget." One stubborn general spoke. Soon others joined too.
"How do you expect us to sleep, if we don't do something after seeing that?"

Fret was going to retort, but one soldier came in shouting. Manu was more than agitated right now. He couldn’t stop himself from, "What is it?"

"One of the soldiers woke up and said everything." The vein was popping up on his forehead as he explained the horrifying torture the soldiers had to go through.

"General." The hierarchy meant nothing at that moment as the little soldier howled, “Please think about the pain our brother had to go through before dying such a dishonourable death. Even if I have to die I will go alone, I can’t let my brothers go through the same pain again tomorrow. General, our brothers in pain, we have to save them. ”

He wasn't the general or someone important. He was a soldier, whose heart cried in the pain of his brothers. Yet in the room full of warriors, his voice echoed most.

There was a pin drop silence inside the room no one spoke. Everyone was looking at Manu with rapt attention.

"Today we march to battle. We will send them to death. At night we will honour our brothers and drink from the skull of that devil." Manu said with a stern voice, "Get ready to move out." Nobody uttered words just complied, leaving only Fret and Manu behind.

"Don't say anything, you just remember what that freak had told you." Fret just nodded to words. "Don't worry we will win. The man will win even if they had to die." Manu smiled and left the room with a bright smile on his face.

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Aree Edan

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